Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
Link padding simply means adding padding to the HTML Anchor Element <a>.
It is important that we don’t leave the link as it is – we must make it large enough to be easily activated by any pointing device (mouse pointer or touch).
Let’s take a very simply example – a set of navigation items:
Link Padding on Hyperlinks
In Example 1, notice that the only active area of the links are the words themselves and not the whitespace beside them. You can see the active area by the blue background highlight when you hover on the links.
Link Padding Increases the Active Area
Now, compare Example 1 to Example 2. When navigating with a pointing device such as a mouse, it is easier in Example 2 to hover on the navigation items and click the chosen link; for navigating using touch, it is also easier in Example 2 since the active area is larger and you can tap far away from the other navigation items – avoiding an accidental activating of the other links.
To pad a link, there are two things to consider:
- Display it as block
- Increase the size around it thru padding
Don’t Overdo It!
In Examples 1 and 2, you can see that the list has a fixed width and border that shows until where the navigation items end. Ensure that you clearly put active areas in a clear manner so that users won’t mistakenly click on a whitespace with a “hidden” link (see Example 3).
Now, why would users “click” or “touch” whitespace? I, personally, do that as a “comfort zone” knowing that activating on a whitespace releases any unknown focus on other elements – it’s similar to pressing Esc repeatedly.
Next post will be about padding action links – think icons in web app toolbar.
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Make example of how simple a semantic markup can be made into a component.
Use Search for example.
While HTML adjusted for the use of fragmentation in content structure (e.g., Form label scattered across the place and only connected by ID’s and for attributes), as well as ARIA adopted to Web Components to provide meaning and semantics to its structure and free-wheeling use of elements.
We must not forget that even webapps can be deduced into a simple document, so as long as they provide human-readable information.
The ultimate test still is stripping off the presentation layer, diving deep into the interaction layer and presenting only the information to the user.
This is the simplest we can approach designing website and applications.
Thus, we must make an element.
I received a confirmation that HopScotch got approved in WordPress Themes Directory.
There are several blog entries in Design DriveThru about the practical application of HTML and CSS, simple ideas as well. In order to put these entries in a clearer light, there needs to be specific categories where they fall under. This will put things in context so that the reader would know to which extent the entry applies to him or her.
For example, as we talk about Notes on SASS File Structure, how does one try to absorb this concept? You might ask if this entry is important for you as a web or front-end designer. The answer can be made easier by categorizing the topics.
Think and Act
The first categories deal with a particular web concept as being either of the two:
Theory deals with general principles.
Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works.
An example of a Theory is CSS Principles.
Technique on the other hand, deals with practical application.
A technique is a procedure to complete a task.
An example of Technique is Recreating Spotify’s Album Cover.
There could also be an entry with both Theory and Technique as its categories, for example: Using <body> to Define UI States and Types. This entry talks about principles and demonstrates how to apply it.
Brochure and Kiosk
The second part of categories is about the web being generally split into two – it is either:
- web as a document or web as an application
- web as hypertext system (information-oriented) or web as software interface (task-oriented)
The latter is from The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett.
Web Documents deals mainly with information like Wikipedia or a WordPress blog. This is the primitive beginnings of HTML wherein information are linked to other information via anchor elements.
Web Applications deals mainly with services that foster activities and enable the users to accomplish specific tasks. Good examples range from Google Sheets to InVision.
This category set could be mutual like Flickr, for example – it is a webapp yet it deals with images and videos with rich information.
I would be using these categories to contextualize entries mostly discussing HTML because each web object, whether a simple web document or a webapp deals with HTML.
Hopefully this categorization technique will be useful in mapping the context of Front-End Design entries.
I took a portrait using my DSLR. It produced an image with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
I went to a photo lab to have it printed.
Do I want it cropped? Hell, no.
I spent hours enhancing and editing it. Besides, I already cropped it to perfection in Photoshop.
No cropping? Then here are the only popular photo paper sizes that I could choose from:
- 3×2 (Wallet size)
- 4×6 (4R)
- 8×12 (8RW)
The other sizes like 3.5×5 (3R), 5×7 (5R), 8×10 (8R) will crop my masterpiece.
So I had it printed on an 8×12 photo paper.
I went to the picture frames section of my favorite department store.
Only to find out that they are only selling these frame sizes (cue Psycho shower theme):
- 4×6 (4R)
- 5×7 (5R)
- 8×10 (8R)
Now, do I end up snipping the printed photo to fit into an 8R frame?
No. I ended up buying a certificate frame with enough margin to fit my photo.
Cropping Must Stop
This age is digital age; this year is 2014 and it’s ending. Everyone has a digital camera in his or her pocket.
Most likely, the digital picture that one camera produces has either these aspect ratios:
Even a full frame film camera is in 3:2.
So why in the world are photo labs and picture frames still speaking in the language of 5Rs and 8Rs?
Photo papers and picture frames must cater to the popular aspect ratios.
Support 1:1 Instagram size if you must!